Dr. Eric Shaw
MAR 6807 Syllabus
MAR 6807 – 001
STRATEGIC MARKETING PLANNING
Dr. Eric H. Shaw
Required Texts and Materials
Optional Texts and Materials
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
Strategic Marketing Planning (MAR 6807) 3 credits
Strategic marketing planning involves making critical decisions to solve strategic problems and achieve your goals. Critical decisions are those that are significant (i.e., the consequences of failure are non-trivial) and involve risk (i.e., the likelihood of success is uncertain). To improve your skill-set in making critical decisions (thus reducing the possibility of failure and increasing your probability for success) we will follow a systematic process that includes developing, evaluating, and choosing among alternative courses of action to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
Almost all of the important decisions made by marketing executives involve aspects of strategic marketing planning. Marketing planning includes: (1) establishing objectives, given existing organizational constraints and anticipated environmental conditions, and (2) developing a marketing strategy to achieve the objectives. Marketing strategy encompasses: (a) targeting customers and (b) creating a marketing mix. The most important customer decision is choosing who to target. A marketing mix consists of a set of interrelated decisions about an organization’s market offering, including selecting an effective combination of products and services, pricing policies, promotions and advertising, sales force, distribution channels, locations, and marketing research. A successful marketing mix involves finding, attracting and retaining customers and is profitable for the firm.
II. COURSE OBJECTIVES / STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
To successfully complete this course…
III. COURSE STRATEGY AND RESOURCES
To achieve the objectives, and facilitate teaching and learning along the way, the course employs a multi-part strategy: (A) the Socratic Method, (B) critical decision-making, (C) dynamic case analysis using a marketing simulation, (D) a Strategic Marketing Plan (E) teamwork, class presentations and participation, and (F) professionalism, class etiquette, rules and regulations.
Initially we will spend a few weeks discussing the general framework of the course as well as some important concepts and techniques. Rather than straight lectures, we will use the Socratic Method. You ask questions and I suggest answers or I ask questions and you suggest answers, and through the process of questioning and answering we work toward solutions. I could just lecture to you, but the “Law of Fast Forgetting and Fast Thinking” as well as my decades of teaching experience argues that you will not retain much of the material very long after the exam. On the other hand, by taking advantage of the “Law of Slow Learning and Slow Thinking,” and following the pattern of answering questions and questioning answers inherent in the Socratic Method you will learn to teach yourself. So even when you forget an answer you will be capable of working out the solution on your own – long after the final exam is a faint memory.
B. Critical Decision-Making
Some decisions people make are critical in the sense that they have a significant impact on an organization (or themselves) and involve substantial risk. Nevertheless, despite their criticality, few people learn, or are even exposed to, a systematic method for making critical decisions beyond the usual trial and error approach based on habit, emotion or hunch, which tends to produce hasty and ill-considered decisions. We will implement a more methodical procedure to significantly improve your decision-making capabilities. Using a diagrammatic decision-making framework, you will learn how to systematically: assess the general situation (SWOT), (1) identify problem symptoms, (2) precisely define the central problem, (3) determine evaluative criteria or goals, (4) develop alternative solutions to the central problem, (5) evaluate alternatives against the criteria, (6) choose the most effective alternative, and (7) deal with post-decision issues, such as tying-up secondary concerns and loose ends, as well as handling implementation issues.
C. Dynamic Case Analysis using a Marketing Simulation
Following its early introduction at the Harvard Business School, marketing strategy (previously named marketing policy) courses have historically used case analysis to improve decision making skills. The case method in business, just as it is used in legal or medical training, involves situation diagnosis and prescription.
A case presents you with a problem-solving situation faced by an organization. Based upon the information presented in the case, your task is to work the problem(s) and arrive at a solution. These situations emphasize various aspects of marketing strategy and tactics, such as identifying promising customer targets, developing appealing products and services, charging acceptable prices, creating effective advertising and promotions, finding desirable distribution outlets and selecting convenient locations.
We will go beyond single static decisions inherent in a typical case analysis and make multiple dynamic decisions by using a simulated marketing game as the context for case analyses. The marketing simulation provides a dynamic competitive environment that replicates many significant aspects of the "real world" of survival and growth in a business setting. You will confront the same challenges as if you assumed the position of a marketing executive in a large corporation or if you started-up and operated your own firm.
In the marketing simulation you will make strategic and tactical business decisions. Your customer target and marketing mix decisions along with those of your competitors’ are inputs to a “demand generator” which simulates customer demand. The demand generator aggregates each customer segment’s demand based upon the effectiveness of the sum of each firm’s marketing mix. Adding each segment’s demand into aggregate market demand produces the outputs: the industry market potential, and each firm’s market share, sales, profits, etc. Based on these outputs, and your anticipation of future customer trends, competitive reactions, etc., you input a new set of decisions, which in turn are transformed, via customer demand, into a new set of outputs; and the process continues until we have simulated about ten to twelve years of marketing decisions.
D. Strategic Marketing Planning
Each team will prepare a professional quality strategic marketing plan by applying (but not blindly following) the format presented in the Marketing to Win: A Guide to Strategic Planning booklet. One copy is available free, for students of this class, by downloading from Blackboard.
Using the MarkStrat Online simulation as the context for your case analysis, you will evaluate the general business situation in detail, including organizational strengths and weaknesses, environmental opportunities and threats, industry trends, and direct and indirect competition. Based upon your situation analysis, you will establish organizational objectives by developing a mission and forecasting performance goals for at least three years. Based upon your objectives, you will create an overall marketing strategy. Based upon your strategy, you will segment and target potential customers. Based upon your customer targets, you will choose an appropriate and integrated marketing mix, including: products and services, pricing, promotion and advertising, distribution and location, and other elements of the marketing program.
E. Teamwork, Class Presentations and Participation
As in business, this class involves working with others—teamwork—to achieve your goals and those of the group. You will work in teams of 4 – 6 members. After the first few weeks of lectures/discussions, each week one or more teams will give a professional oral presentation to the class. As a member of your team, you are expected to attend group meetings and participate by providing logical arguments to support your opinions in team decision-making. You are also expected to fairly and objectively evaluate the individual contribution of each member of your group to the overall team effort. All evaluations are strictly confidential.
During the presentations, the non-presenting students will constitute a critical audience and participate by challenging assumptions and questioning opinions. You are also expected to fairly and objectively evaluate the presenting teams (again, all evaluations are strictly confidential). You will be graded on both participation and evaluations.
F. Professionalism, Class Etiquette, Rules and Regulations
As a student, you are expected to act professionally at all times, attend every class, arrive on time prepared to address the issues and take the role of an active participant in the day’s discussion. You are also expected to avoid disrupting or distracting other students; including no phone calls, no texting, no computer use for non-class surfing, and remaining in your seat until the end of class. If you have a question, or are offering an answer, raise your hand and wait to be called upon. Each aspect above is used in computing your professionalism grade, and reductions – at the discretion of the professor – are made for each lack of professionalism.
You are also expected to play by the rules and regulations of the university. Regarding cheating, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty, read the FAU Code of Academic Integrity: www.fau.edu/regulations/chapter4/4.001_Code_of_Academic_Integrity.pdf
Regarding student disabilities, absences due to religious observances or university approved activities, etc., this class conforms to all FAU and College of Business rules and regulations. If you have any questions consult the FAU catalog or ask me.
Final grades are determined by your performance in achieving the course objectives, as reflected in the following criteria:
Decision Analysis 20%